South American Cichlids • Need your ideas! stocking apistos and creating territories

Discussion regarding only South American Cichlid species. (Oscars, Geophagines, Discus, Apistogramma, Green Terrors, Angels, Severums, Pikes, etc.)

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How many apistos pairs?

5
1
17%
6
0
No votes
7
0
No votes
8
1
17%
other
4
67%
 
Total votes : 6

Need your ideas! stocking apistos and creating territories

Postby SpunkyRush » Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:29 pm

I have a 75 gal tank I am stocking. (I currently only have a Bristlenose pleco.) This 75 gal tank will turn into the wet/dry sump for a 312 gal tank (120â€
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Postby Toby_H » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:08 pm

I think your on the right track but your eyes are a bit bigger than your tank… ;)

I tried a 55 gal Apisto Colony tank with Cackatoos and it was a disaster… started with 3 trios… quickly ended up with one male and a couple beat up females…

Then I siliconed in two 12â€
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Postby gage » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:51 pm

u may get away with four pairs if u make very distinct territories and they dont want eachothers territory. but i wouldnt try more then 3
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Postby SpunkyRush » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:15 pm

nc_nutcase wrote:I think your on the right track but your eyes are a bit bigger than your tank… ;)

That happens a lot.... i had read about people having a couple pairs in a 55 or 75 gal and thought "hmm... more than double length, and double width.... more than double the number?" Good to have people who know what they are talking about before i have to learn the hard way! (PS, so you dont think i am totally off my rocker, i thought it would be 5 and was just hope i would be told more!)

so.....
cockatoos: 1 male, 3 females
GBR: 1 males, 3 females
Bolivian Rams: 1 males, 3 females
or.....
cockatoos: 1 male, 3 females
GBR or Bolivian Rams: 3 males, 7 females
or.....
cockatoos: 2 male, 5 females
GBR or Bolivian Rams: 2 males, 5 females

does any one work better than the other? Does this mean that i can add some other fish in the mix.... cichlid or not?
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Postby Toby_H » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:46 pm

Don’t let me talk you into going to light either ;)

I’ve never kept more than one pair of Rams in a tank so assuming that works…

I think:

2 pairs of Rams
2 Trios of Cockatoos -or- 3 pairs/trios of 3 different species of Apistos
20+ Tetras
2 x group of 6 cories, loaches, etc

Since the Cichlids are all bottom dwellers having too many additional bottom dwellers may cause problems… but having some additional bottom action may decrease aggression amongst the Cichlids.

I would also try to stack décor fairly high, driftwood should work well as these are ‘soft water’ Cichlids.

I think you would also have more space available for non aggressive upper dwelling fish... I’ve also found myself less impressed with huge groups of Tetras than I expected to. You may be happier with a few groups of slightly different fish for this purpose.
The happier you make your fish the happier they will make you

Minimum requirements means minimum happiness for all
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Postby DeadFishFloating » Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:37 am

G'day SpunkyRush,

First up, my experience with apistos amounts to keeping two trios of A. agassizii in a 6' by 21" by 26" community tank. This tank had eight pieces of driftwood, each one had a cave structure, and also was moderately planted. It also had another 3 pieces of driftwood that helped to break up lines of sight etc.

I originally bought two males and six females, so I had two quartets. Well in the first week two females were killed by other females. About a month later I bought two more females, both were killed within 48 hours. So I determined I only had enough room for four female territories.

The females pretty much divided the tunk up evenly into quarters, regardless of where thier particular cave was located in thier individual territory. Even at feeding time, the two more dominat females would not let another female into thier territories. Food and/or a males attention was secondary to keeping the other females away.

The males cruised the whole tank. I had a definate dominant male and a definate subdominant male. The dominat male spent just as much time keeping the subdominant male in line, or in hiding, as he did paying attention to the four females. However the subdominat male ending up challenging the dominat male after about six months. The sparing went on for two days, and on day three I found the dominant male dead.

So I came to the conclussion that a six foot tank provided enough territory for one male and four female A. agassizii.

I also had six geophagus araguaia, four keyhole cichlids and a pair of laetacara curviceps in the tank. The only agression ever amongst the cichlids was when any cichlid, or corydoras, or pleco, got very close to a female apistos cave. They pretty much ignore tetras. I once saw a female apsito chase the dominant male araguaia around one end of the tank. This male could of eaten her in one bite btw.

Maybe if I had more male apistos, the dominant males agression could have been spread out, like in nc_nutcase's tank.

My personal experience leads me to believe apistos can make good tank mates, provided thier particular needs are met, and other tanks mates needs don't cuase a clash that could be life threatening to one or the other. But in a larger tank I'd have them as a secondary cichlid to another species.
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Postby SpunkyRush » Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:22 am

DeadFishFloating wrote:My personal experience leads me to believe apistos can make good tank mates, provided thier particular needs are met, and other tanks mates needs don't cuase a clash that could be life threatening to one or the other. But in a larger tank I'd have them as a secondary cichlid to another species.

Are you saying it may be best if i had one group (1m, 3f) per kind (ram and cockatoo) and had another main fish(es)... ?
nc_nutcase wrote:2 pairs of Rams
2 Trios of Cockatoos -or- 3 pairs/trios of 3 different species of Apistos
20+ Tetras
2 x group of 6 cories, loaches, etc

Well, thinking of both of these quotes, here is were my brain lead me…..

i had played with the idea of angel or 2, but they are another cichlid with territory needs (and one more species i have never dealt with) I thought of blue gourami... but it is hit or miss with their temperament.... ideas?

1 or 2 pairs of Rams
1 or 2 pairs of Cockatoos
25 tetras…. playing with adding 25 rasboras
11 yoyos
1 bristlenose
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Postby DeadFishFloating » Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:17 am

Hey SpunkyRush,

OK my opinion, based largely from other peoples advice and experience I've read here over the last 10 months or so.

What is the foot print of your tank? If you've got a four foot tank a trio of apistos, if it's a five foot tank a quartet of one male and three females.

Angels take up a differnt area of the water column, so they may be an option. However, we've had plenty of posts on here of them being 'ornery so'n'so's.

Many people here love Bolivian rams, they also form pair bonds, so are not a harem breeding cichlid like apistos. By all accounts Bolivian rams are much easier to keep, live longer, and are more owner friendly than German blue rams. And by all accounts, Bolivian rams do better when they are in a group of five or more.


So I'd look at having two pairs of Bolivian rams, and a trio of Apistogramma trifasciata or agassizii or cacatuoides (one of the easier to keep apistos).

I'd definately recommend having couple of pieces of driftwood, get some twisted or corkscrew val, and three or four amazon sword plants, Echinodorus bleheri & Echinodorus nana.

My otocinclus spend more time cleaning my plants of algea, than cleaning my glass of algea.
Also for a 75g I'd settle for 6 corydoras, though I'd go for a different type than bronze corydoras.

As for dither fish, there are more than just tetras to think about. In one of my tanks I currently have marbled hatchetfish, golden & dwarf pencilfish (Nannostomus beckfordi & Nannostomus marginatus), and rummynose tetras. I also have lemon tetras (about 40 incidently lol) and blackline penguin fish (Thayeria boehlkei) in another tank.

It can be really interesting watching different dither fish interacting. The lemon tetras, hatchetfish and penguin fish all stick together in schools. The rummynose will form a school, the seperate and scoot around. And the pencilfish, well they are a law unto themselves, you can find them among the plants just above the substrate, to darting amongst the hatchetfish at the surface.

Good luck on whatever you do.
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Postby SpunkyRush » Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:57 am

DeadFishFloating wrote:What is the foot print of your tank? If you've got a four foot tank a trio of apistos, if it's a five foot tank a quartet of one male and three females.

the 75gal is a four foot tank

DeadFishFloating wrote:OK my opinion, based largely from other peoples advice and experience I've read here over the last 10 months or so.

That is what i am counting on! people that have read more than me! in the past 4 days i have spent about 20 hours on the computer gather information... unfortunately thus far i have spent a great deal of time reading about fish and deciding that they were not for me... So you could say once i found this place, i did some reading, but then got lazy and just decided to ask and not spend 20 hours again reading. (even though over the next few weeks i will anyway.)

DeadFishFloating wrote:I'd definately recommend having couple of pieces of driftwood, get some twisted or corkscrew val, and three or four amazon sword plants, Echinodorus bleheri & Echinodorus nana.

as far as decor, here is a site with the beginning pictures of my rock formation... http://www.siouxfallsareaaquariumsociety.com/node/781 I currently have 2 tall, but not filled out amazon swords and 2 small ones, 2 corkscrew val, and 11 or so narrow leaf brown/redish plant all small at this moment. (we are making the diy co2 this week!) And thanks for reminding me, i have 4 pieces of Malaysian driftwood in there. I dotn plan on buying any fish until the rock and co2 is made. The i would stock the bottom dwellers and schoolers first, then once the tank looks filled out, the cichlids would come in.

DeadFishFloating wrote:lso for a 75g I'd settle for 6 corydoras, though I'd go for a different type than bronze corydoras.

what kind? I have sand substrate (play sand with my colors brown to it) and spotted cories just dont look as appealing on it... I can probably speical order just about anything if it would fit with loaches (in big tank) and look good on sand.

DeadFishFloating wrote:My otocinclus spend more time cleaning my plants of algea, than cleaning my glass of algea.

I really dont have an algae problem, i just like the look of otos...

DeadFishFloating wrote:As for dither fish, there are more than just tetras to think about. In one of my tanks I currently have marbled hatchetfish, golden & dwarf pencilfish (Nannostomus beckfordi & Nannostomus marginatus), and rummynose tetras. I also have lemon tetras (about 40 incidently lol) and blackline penguin fish (Thayeria boehlkei) in another tank.


Actually i have always thought about more than just tetras. This would be the first i would own any in 5 years of keeping 8 tanks (263gal total) haha, I have looked at the hatchetfish, they are pretty cool and ruled out the pencil fish and the rummynose was my hubby's first choice... but lemons were his 3rd... what would a school of lemons, school of rummies and some hatchetfish look like with the two pairs of Bolivian rams, and a trio of Apisto and maybe some angels? would it work out, depending on the temperament of the angels of course.

And besides the water quality issue, what are the reasons you would pick a bolivian over the german? (assuming that is what you mean by easier to keep) And how much longer do they live? I am wondering because i can get the german ones easier than the bolivian.
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Postby Toby_H » Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:31 am

what would a school of lemons, school of rummies and some hatchetfish look like with the two pairs of Bolivian rams, and a trio of Apisto and maybe some angels? would it work out, depending on the temperament of the angels of course.


It would look great! That’s what I meant previously when I suggested a few smaller groups of Dithers. I also think the Angles would be a wonderful addition, but since I’ve never personally kept them I was hesitant to make the suggestion.

After hearing DeadFishFloating’s experience I believe it is completely possible that the reason my tank seemed successful is that there were simply enough males around to spread aggression. My theory is more like the Dominant male would not truly fight the slightly smaller as he knew this would still damage him and leave him vulnerable to the other males in the tank while injured… but that’s just what I think…

Overcrowding to offset aggression sometimes works with some species… but with many I believe it only works by scaring the fish into hiding. I know my subdominant males were definitely less active and hid more than my Dominant male.


Over the course of the year I had my tank set up I also had breeding pairs of Cackatoos in 29 gals. This allowed me to rotate out trouble making males to spawn and place spawning males back into the community tank. I found the males in the spawning tanks to grow much slower and to be less robust than the males in the Community tank. It was a very interesting collection of fish.

I’ve just recently rededicated the same 125 gal back to Apistos. I purchased 6 males and 18 females, expecting to have one or two male losses and have space to give trouble making males a 29 gal as a spawning tank.

When you have ample tank space to transfer fish around, like you do, I feel it is a lot safer to attempt risky mixes. For me this has been some of the funnest times in Cichlid keeping… trying what isn’t supposed to work… and finding it sometimes does! I should also add this should only be done when you have ample tankspace to remove trouble makers or troubled fish.

I feel I can officially remove my initial statement

I think your on the right track but your eyes are a bit bigger than your tank… ;)


Now your just on the right track…

Also great suggestions DeadFishFloating…
The happier you make your fish the happier they will make you

Minimum requirements means minimum happiness for all
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Location: Detroit, Mi

Postby Toby_H » Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:33 am

what would a school of lemons, school of rummies and some hatchetfish look like with the two pairs of Bolivian rams, and a trio of Apisto and maybe some angels? would it work out, depending on the temperament of the angels of course.


It would look great! That’s what I meant previously when I suggested a few smaller groups of Dithers. I also think the Angles would be a wonderful addition, but since I’ve never personally kept them I was hesitant to make the suggestion.

After hearing DeadFishFloating’s experience I believe it is completely possible that the reason my tank seemed successful is that there were simply enough males around to spread aggression. My theory is more like the Dominant male would not truly fight the slightly smaller as he knew this would still damage him and leave him vulnerable to the other males in the tank while injured… but that’s just what I think…

Overcrowding to offset aggression sometimes works with some species… but with many I believe it only works by scaring the fish into hiding. I know my subdominant males were definitely less active and hid more than my Dominant male.


Over the course of the year I had my tank set up I also had breeding pairs of Cackatoos in 29 gals. This allowed me to rotate out trouble making males to spawn and place spawning males back into the community tank. I found the males in the spawning tanks to grow much slower and to be less robust than the males in the Community tank. It was a very interesting collection of fish.

I’ve just recently rededicated the same 125 gal back to Apistos. I purchased 6 males and 18 females, expecting to have one or two male losses and have space to give trouble making males a 29 gal as a spawning tank.

When you have ample tank space to transfer fish around, like you do, I feel it is a lot safer to attempt risky mixes. For me this has been some of the funnest times in Cichlid keeping… trying what isn’t supposed to work… and finding it sometimes does! I should also add this should only be done when you have ample tankspace to remove trouble makers or troubled fish.

I feel I can officially remove my initial statement

I think your on the right track but your eyes are a bit bigger than your tank… ;)


Now your just on the right track…

Also great suggestions DeadFishFloating…
The happier you make your fish the happier they will make you

Minimum requirements means minimum happiness for all
Toby_H
 
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 10:50 pm
Location: Detroit, Mi

Postby SpunkyRush » Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:24 pm

well, by then i should have an extra 58gal open (i've had my JD 4 years and he was almost full grown when i got him....so 5 maybe 6 years old... add 5-6 years until i would get to "play around" with what can and can not work... Sam might be gone by then :( ) plus when he is gone i wont need the 20L guppy breeding tank... and i might have the leak fixed in the 30gal. So i am ok with the cockatoos, i will get a trio for the 75 and then look into playing around with numbers later.

lemons:25, rummies: 25, and hatchetfish: 20
Should one type of tetra be larger than the other or does (about) equal work well?
Then with cories... still wondering about the type... it would have to be a kind that i just fell in love with to make me give up the idea of a bunch of yoyo loaches.


nc_nutcase wrote:I feel I can officially remove my initial statement

I think your on the right track but your eyes are a bit bigger than your tank… ;)


Now your just on the right track…


haha, thanks! Once too many times i felt like the newbie suggesting having a bala shark, oscar and a school of neons in a 10 gal and then getting a 30 gal in a year when they start "growing" out of the 10. glad to know it appears i am learning!
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Postby DeadFishFloating » Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:23 pm

Well I'm surprised more people haven't jumped in with their experiences or advice. I know I like to talk about my tanks more than others talk about thiers and I try to be helpfull to other newbies, but at the end of the day, I've been keeping SA fish for less than a year so I'm still a newbie as well.

SpunkyRush from my experience and personal preference I think it's better having different sized schools of dither fish. I'd personally look at a school of about 20`ish lemon tetras, 12 rummy nose and 9 hatchetfish. You want to have a balance between the size of your tank, the total bio-load, and how all your various fish interact.

Oh and before I continue, I'm sort of a biotope nut, so I just can't reconcile having yoyo loaches in a SA tank. :P :roll:

As for corydoras spieces, your personal preference, not mine. I just find bronze cories a little boring, but like my spotted corydoras. Yeah i've got julii and blue spoted corydoras. :D

The oto's I was just relating my experience. I don't have an algea problem, but that's probably becuase they're doing thier job. Oto's eat algea, whether it be on glass, driftwood or plants.

Sorry to hijack the thread, but it relates a little to your setup. Sort of, maybe...not... :oops:

Well today I'm off to pickup my third tank, it finally arrived about a month late. And funnily enough it's going to be an apisto tank. I've got about half my fish already, they've been sharing my Keyhole tank, and it definately looks a bit crowded in there. And it's been driving me nuts that it's messed up the biotope look. Who in thier right mind would mix peruvian amazon fish with those found in Guyana. :lol: :roll: :roll:
But we just don't see hatchetfish, dwarf pencilfish or pygmy corydoras in the LFS to often.

Here's my stocking list. Oh it's another 34 gallon tank.
1 pair Apistogramma agassizii
6 Carnegiella strigata strigata - Marbled hatchetfish
2 Nannostomus marginatus - Dwarf pencilfish
8 Hemigrammus ocellifer - Head and taillight tetra
5 Corydoras pygmaeus - pygmy corydoras
3 Otocinclus vestitus

The only fish I've yet to pick up, are the tetras and apistos. There's going to be two pieces of driftwood in the tank to provide shelter, corkscrew val along the back, one Echinodorus bleheri and one Echinodorus nana, and some leaf litter. But I've got to cycle the tank first, so it should be up and complete by mid January.
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